99 Points - Stuart McCloskey “Personally, I feel this is becoming more extraordinary with each passing year. I could write a short book on the bouquet alone, which is hedonistic, breathtaking and takes you on the most magical of journeys. Where to start? Honeyed liquid minerals, wet stones, saline / ocean spray, sweet pastry spice, candied lemon, lemon oil, white flowers (honeysuckle), creamed hazelnuts, anise and buttered white toast in the background. The palate feel is powerful and the amplitude and depth astonishing. The poise, detail and balance are equally exceptional, all adding to a sense of being in the presence of a world class wine, which you are… The fruit is sourced from three cool climate regions; Tasmania, Yarra Valley and Tumbarumba – The Tassie fruit providing wonderful lift and refinement. The utterly extraordinary palate offers immeasurable layers of minerals, stones, sweet, buttered spiced orchard fruit. It’s glossy, silken, almost too perfect as sensations go. A bright line of acidity carries to the core, providing intensity and above all, perfect balance. Oiliness is emerging which adds more fullness and dimension. This wine possesses one of the longest and purist finishes I have ever encountered from an Aussie Chardonnay – the spiced buttered finish held together with grippy acidity is simply magnificent and continues for minutes. Value aside, certainly one of the best white wines I've enjoyed in the past 3-5 years. I feel compelled to give it the highest possible score however, I will resist as I believe a further five to ten years in the cellar will provide absolute perfection. This is just the beginning… Served at circa 13 degrees (cool garage temperature will be perfect) and using Zalto Bordeaux glassware. Important note: The temperature and your glassware choices are critical.” Tasted 16th November 2020
97+ - 98+ Points - Stuart McCloskey “It’s taken some time for this beauty to develop and it certainly has a bright future ahead. Do not overchill and allow the wondrous bouquet to unfurl to crisp yellow stone fruits, lemon oil, rich with minerality (wet chalk), buttered citrus, spring flowers and nashi pear. I adore the bouquet which I find so evocative. I could happily spend the day swirling and sniffing without the need to taste (it’s that alluring). The palate is tight knit, finely boned, endlessly long and built with cellaring in mind. The elegant textural element is wonderful. The purity and balance are exceptional. Tensile whilst providing fleshy orchard fruits. Structured but the flavours amplify with aeration and provide a real sense of volume. The wine is as long as you are willing to travel and finally ends with a lick of salinity. Magical and I absolutely adore it… Currently my favourite Chardonnay in our portfolio. Drink now to 2030. Served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware.”
I love the salinity, purity and that same buttery pastry... Supremely sophisticated and yet again, in a class all of its own
97++ to 98 Points - Stuart McCloskey “Different and rightfully individual, but I can see glimpses of my old friend. The nose is evocative and builds with more aeration. Grilled, creamy nuts, buttery pastry, crème pat, fresh vanilla pod underpinned with confit lemon, crisp orchard fruits and the most striking mineral freshness imaginable. The palate is a little subdued but that’s ok with me as this beauty will last a decade or more. It’s textural, satiny, fleshy and elegant in a muscular sense. I love the salinity, purity and that same buttery pastry. The acidity is racy and the pithy structure chewy and delightful. Supremely sophisticated and yet again, in a class all of its own by an indescribable sense of completeness. One of the highlights of my year and I am pinching three dozen for sure. Do not overchill, decant for 20-30 minutes and ideally serve in Zalto Bordeaux glassware or similar. Drink now to 2030+ (I believe this will be 99 points in 5-8 years)”
2021 Best Sauvignon Blanc Wines - Wine Companion Awards
98 Points - Stuart McCloskey "The bouquet is ultra-pure and sings with honeyed quince, touches of apple, apricot and warming ginger with more aeration. The palate is confident, unforced and a joy to sample. More complex than most Australian Sauvignon Blancs and full of charisma. I love the youthfulness which provides good bite and pithiness, although the palate offers much depth and breadth. Sumptuous in parts despite its infancy. Very impressive and certainly one of the best examples of Aussie Sauvignon Blanc currently available. Long, incredibly satisfying, juicy, moreish and sophisticated. This will be incredible in 5 years.”
Mike Bennie, The Wine Front "A superb rendition of the oak-rested Sauvignon Blanc sect of wines, here marrying gently nougat-like characters with ripe citrus, a splash of passionfruit and faint but comely green herb characters. It's got superb texture, lots of complexity and feels compelling to drink. Kudos."
98+ Points - Stuart McCloskey “In the late summer, team Stolpman pull every leaf away from the fruit to allow for full sun penetration. A month prior to harvest, when the sun exposed side of each cluster tans, but the inside remains green, every grape cluster is gently hand rotated 180 degrees to facilitate an even suntan. The focus, determination and attention to detail provides one of the best new world Roussannes, in my opinion. Spiced pear, apple, buttered citrus, tangerine skin, orange blossom and honey unfold majestically from the glass. There’s theatre, with golden hues whilst the viscous intensity grips the side of my glass with all its life. The palate is concentrated, full bodied with waves of honey and buttered fruits covering every facet. There’s a spiciness (fresh ginger) which gently starts at the tip of my tongue and continues to lay a path of warmth all the way back. Intensity is the core of this wine, with minerality and acidity providing some welcome relief. With time, honeysuckle and peach emerge, but so too does the spiciness, which I love. Emphatically long; never-ending to be perfectly honest and will continue to provide an extraordinary wine experience for many years to come. Do not overchill. Served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware”.
99 Points Stuart McCloskey “Grand Cru Burgundy in its structure, complexity and certainly, one of the most intense Australian Chardonnays I have tasted. The bouquet is heavenly scented with buttered citrus, sweet pastry, buttered popcorn, lemon oil, beeswax and wafts of sea spray. Just incredible. The palate is full-bodied, powerful, texturally perfect with a depth beyond the fathoms - Montrachet in all its magnificence. Clearly, a wine which offers a degree of indulgence, but the acidity provides the perfect frame. The finish is super-long, luxurious with wonderful hints of minerals and a touch of saltiness. Totally exquisite. Served with Zalto Bordeaux glassware. Decant for 20 minutes, this is drinking divinely now and will continue to do so for a further 8-10 years.”
97 Points - James Halliday "A tiny 0.37ha interplanted with Bernard/Dijon and Gin Gin clones on south-facing deep silver grey sands. Wild fermented in new and used oak. Pale straw-green; highly fragrant/perfumed, palate fine and intense; minerally aftertaste. 13% alc, screwcap. Drink to 2030.
95 Points - William Kelley (robertparker.com) "From one of the oldest vineyards in the Santa Maria Valley, Paul Lato’s superb 2016 Chardonnay le Souvenir Sierra Madre Vineyard reveals attractive aromas of yellow orchard fruit, citrus zest, peach and honeycomb. On the palate, it’s medium to full-bodied, with more textural glossiness than the Belle de Jour, underpinned by bright acids and concluding with an intense, chalky finish. This is quite structurally tight-knit right now and will need a couple of years in the cellar to blossom."
This season, with its long Indian summer, produced a wine with what we believe to be a particularly interesting future. On appearance its bright straw hue almost sparkles. Blossoms, wet river stones and an expansive medley of yellow peach and grapefruit aromas anticipate what is to follow on the palate. Powerful grapefruit, talc and a compote of other fruit flavours are sustained in a distinctly taut structure.
97+ Points - Jeb Dunnuck "Coming from a terrific site located at the southern end of the Santa Lucia Highlands, the 2016 Chardonnay East of Eden Pisoni Vineyard boasts phenomenal notes of ripe citrus and white peach fruits, white flowers, and freshly crushed rocks. It's clean, incredibly pure, and elegant on the palate, with a level of tension and vibrancy you don't find too often in the vintage. I followed this bottle for two days and it only improved with air. It's a brilliant Chardonnay from Lato that’s going to benefit from a year or two of bottle age and age gracefully for a decade or more. Don’t miss it!"